6,500 Workers Died
Imagine being so desperate for work that you left your family behind to live in a squalid camp, toiling in the desert heat for as little as $1 an hour. Then you died, alone, and your family got nothing.

Imagine that those who treated you like a slave would rake in billions while the family you left behind spiraled down deeper into poverty.

FIFA decided to let Qatar’s despotic regime host the World Cup, and since then thousands of desperate and vulnerable migrant workers have reportedly died.

That’s 39 modern-day slaves who died for every goal expected to be scored .More than 6,500 modern day slaves are reported to have died since Qatar was awarded the 2022 World Cup. Hundreds of thousands more still toil for as little as a dollar an hour.

FIFA is under pressure to set aside $440 million for these workers–the same amount that will be awarded to the competing teams. Rights groups, footballers, and even some of the World Cup’s top corporate sponsors are part of the push. But with less than two weeks until kickoff, we need to make this call massive to get FIFA to do the right thing. So sign now and we’ll deliver your voices straight to FIFA.

Despite warnings, FIFA chose a host country well known for using forced labor and for abusing poor and desperate migrant workers. FIFA helped create this problem, and now it has to help solve it.

Getting a huge organization like FIFA to do the right thing can feel like an uphill battle. But public pressure works, especially when it starts to hurt profits. Even four of the World Cup’s top corporate sponsors–Budweiser, McDonalds, Coca Cola, and Adidas–support compensating workers. And so do 84% of football fans who are likely to tune into the matches, according to a recent poll.

Avaaz stands up for human rights and workers’ rights around the world. Already in 2015 Avaaz urged Qatar to end its modern slavery ahead of the World Cup, receiving almost a million signatures. In the years since, the Qatar government has taken steps to address these issues, but more can be done!
Bieta, Nate, Christine, Miguel, Ahmed, Luis, Marta and the rest of the Avaaz team


On July 17, 1945, President Harry S Truman records his first impressions of Stalin in his diary.

Truman described his initial meeting with the intimidating Soviet leader as heartfelt.

“Just a few minutes before twelve,” the president wrote, “I looked up from the table and Stalin was at the doorstep.”

Got up and headed to meet him.

He reached out his hand and smiled. I did the same thing, we shook and sat. "

After exchanging friendships, the two began to discuss post-World War II politics in Europe. The U S was still engaged in a Pacific war against Japan, and Truman wanted to get a read on Stalin's plans for territories he now controls in Europe.

Truman told Stalin that his diplomatic style was direct and precise, an admission that Truman noticed had significantly pleased Stalin.

Truman hoped to get the Soviets to unite in the US war against Japan.

In return, Stalin wanted to impose Soviet control over some early-war annexed territories by Japan and Germany. Truman hinted that though Stalin's agenda was "dynamite" or aggressive, the U S now had the ammunition to counter the Communist leader.

Truman had refrained from briefing the Soviet leader on the Manhattan Project, which had just successfully tested the world's first atomic bomb, but knew the new weapon strengthened his hand.

Truman referred to this secret in his journal as "a dynamite that I am not blowing right now."

After their meeting, Truman, Stalin and accompanying advisers "had lunch, talked in the community, [and] put on a real show, toasting everyone" and posed for pictures.

Truman closed his entrance for the day on a note of confidence.

"I can deal with Stalin," he wrote.

"He is honest, but smart as hell."
Stalin Society

Losing Tropical Forest
An aerial view shows a deforested plot of the Amazon rainforest in Manaus, Amazonas State, Brazil July 8, 2022. REUTERS/Bruno Kelly

LONDON, Sept 12 (Reuters)–Industrial-scale mining for materials such as coal, gold, and iron ore is spurring tropical deforestation, with once-impenetrable forest cleared for mines and access roads, new research shows.
In the first study to quantify the impact of industrial mining on tropical forest loss, an international team of scientists found that just four countries are largely to blame: Brazil, Indonesia, Ghana and Suriname.

Together, the four forest-rich nations accounted for roughly 80% of tropical deforestation caused by large-scale mining operations from 2000 to 2019, according to a recent study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

While at least 70% of deforestation is done to clear land for agriculture, the scientists called out industrial mining as an emerging concern due to the growing global appetite for minerals used in so-called clean-energy technologies to combat climate change.

"The energy transition is going to require very large amounts of minerals–copper, lithium, cobalt–for decarbonised technologies," said coauthor Anthony Bebbington, a geographer at Clark University in Massachusetts. "We need more planning tools on the parts of governments and companies to mitigate the impacts of mining on forest loss."

Already, mines worldwide extract more than twice the amount of raw materials than they did in 2000, the study said.

For the study, the researchers studied global satellite images and data tracking forest loss alongside location information for industrial-scale mining operations from the past two decades. The study did not measure the impacts from small-scale and artisanal mining, which can also be a challenge as pollution goes unregulated.

Overall, there were 26 countries responsible for most of the world's tropical deforestation since 2000.

But around industrial mining sites, the four countries dominated. The biggest losses were in Indonesia, where coal mines on the island of Borneo have expanded to meet fuel demand from China and India.

Ghana and Suriname also showed high deforestation rates around gold and bauxite mines delivering material used in aluminum and other products. In Brazil, gold and iron ore extraction drove mining deforestation. Whether Brazil’s newly elected leftist President Lula could reverse the trend is open to question.
Mining operations often clear forests to make room for expanding extraction sites and tailing storage facilities, as well as to build access roads and settlements for miners.

Road-building and development activities are often not included in environmental impact assessments, conducted before a mine is approved, said environmental engineer Juliana Siqueira-Gay at the sustainability nonprofit Instituto Escolhas in Brazil, who was not involved in the study.
Gloria Dickie

Electoral Bonds
Law that permits electoral bonds is the most immoral and unjust law in India. Unjust law is no law. Parties that accept anonymous corporate donations cannot be trusted because they act as slaves. Promoters of UID/Aadhar/NPR are slaves of their donors.

1.   Immorality, thy name is Bond, Electoral Bond.
2.   Avarice, thy name is Bond, Electoral Bond.
3.   Absence of shame, thy name is Bond, Electoral Bond.
4.   Absence of embarrassment, thy name is Bond, Electoral Bond.
5.   Concealment of wrongdoing, thy name is Bond, Electoral Bond.
Gopal Krishna, LL.M., Ph.D
Fellow, IRGAC-Berlin

Documentary–‘Jai Bhim Comrade’
[Film Awards: Best Film–Films South Asia, Kathmandu, Nepal, Best Film–Mumbai International Film Festival?, Best Documentary–Hong Kong International Film Festival?, Bartok Prize–Jean Rouch International Film Festival, Paris, France?, Special Jury Award–National Awards, India?, Golden Camel–Jaipur International Film Festival]

For thousands of years, India’s Dalits were abhorred as “untouchables”, denied education, and treated as bonded labor. By 1923 Bhimrao Ambedkar broke the taboo, won doctorates abroad, and fought for the emancipation of his people. He drafted India’s Constitution and led his followers to Buddhism. His legend still spreads through poetry and song.

In 1997 a statue of Dr Ambedkar in a Dalit colony in Mumbai was desecrated with footwear. As angry residents gathered, police opened fire and killed 10 people. Vilas Ghogre, a leftist poet, hung himself in protest.

‘Jai Bhim Comrade’ shot over 14 years, follows the poetry and music of people like Vilas and marks a tradition that, from the days of the Buddha, has fought superstition and religious bigotry.

“Far-reaching, and by turns pensive and enraging… ‘Jai Bhim Comrade’ could be seen as a capstone to Patwardhan’s extraordinary career.”–Sukhdev Sandhu, The Guardian

“Legendary director Anand Patwardhan’s epic doc about Dalit people is a massive, musical, magnificent, masterpiece”–Mark Cousins, Filmmaker, Critic

Anand Patwardhan, India’s leading documentary filmmaker, is known for his socio-political, award-winning films. He has spent decades capturing Mumbai’s slum dwellers, the reality of the caste system, the rise of Hindu nationalism, and tensions between India and Pakistan. He is a member of the Oscar academy, and his films have earned more than 20 international awards.

For a list of upcoming CSAS screenings, including other films from Patwardhan, please visit our website's event page. For more information on Anand Patwardhan and his films, please visit his website.
CSAS, Mumbai

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Vol 55, No. 23, Dec 4 - 10, 2022